Toronto Loft Conversions

Toronto Loft Conversions

I know classic brick and beam lofts! From warehouses to factories to churches, Laurin will help you find your perfect new loft.

Modern Toronto Lofts

Modern Toronto Lofts

Not just converted lofts, I can help you find the latest cool and modern space. There are tons of new urban spaces across the city.

Unique Toronto Homes

Unique Toronto Homes

More than just lofts, I can also help you find that perfect house. From the latest architectural marvel to a piece of our Victorian past, the best and most creative spaces abound.

Condos in Toronto

Condos in Toronto

I started off selling mainly condos, helping first time buyers get a foothold in the Toronto real estate market. Now working with investors and helping empty nesters find that perfect luxury suite.

Toronto Real Estate

Toronto Real Estate

For all of your Toronto real estate needs, contact Laurin. I am dedicated to helping you find that perfect and unique new home to call your own.


Tag Archives: PST

Where the Best Amenity is the Neighbourhood

By Derek Raymaker – Globe and Mail

Some call the East End, ‘the last really good opportunity in the city’ for infill

Between the dull roar of the Don Valley Parkway and the dreary strip malls of Victoria Park Avenue lie some of Toronto’s most robust and proud neighbourhoods.

Just east of downtown lie Corktown, Cabbagetown and Riverdale, all of which stand tall today thanks to the popularity, angularity and craftsmanship of their Victorian architecture.

A little farther east is Leslieville, straddling the formerly skid-row stretch of Queen Street East that is being transformed into a vibrant core of cafes, boutiques, and visual art studios at a hellacious pace.

The residential portion of Leslieville used to be a solidly blue-collar enclave of compact semi-detached houses, but in the past five years, it has become an attractive market for first-time buyers on a budget. Prices and renovation activity have been cranked up accordingly.

Finally, there is the Beaches, one of Toronto’s most storied neighbourhoods, and the only one in the original city of Toronto with direct access to lakeshore recreation areas without an expressway or arterial road being in the way.

A rendering of the Queen City Vinegar Lofts in the former Queen City Vinegar Co. factory. Good use is made of the brick walls and large windows of the structure at 19 River St.; glassed-in units will be added to the top.

It’s also home to ferociously proud residents, well-versed in the finer points of zoning regulations and bylaws, and their battalions of school-age children. Homeowners have given the community a West Coast flavour, unafraid of experimenting with San Francisco style architecture and maritime-themed designs and finishes.

The Beaches has acquired so much cachet that it’s boundaries have mysteriously grown to include the Upper Beaches, a real estate agents’ euphemism for those neighbourhoods along Kingston Road as far east as Victoria Park Avenue, a stretch that gets noticeably un-Beaches-like the farther east you go.

Toronto’s well-entrenched east-side neighbourhoods don’t necessarily lend themselves easily to high-rise condominiums.

Small pockets have become home to successful 10-storey-plus condos, but they’ve usually been attached to a larger redevelopment. Such is the case around the Distillery District, where four condo towers have been built surrounding the upscale multipurpose shopping and dining complex.

The east-side neighbourhoods, with their creative, upstart, never-say-die character, have proven to be a successful breeding ground for similarly inclined developers with a specific interest in infill redevelopment or loft conversions.

Streetcar Developments Inc. started converting old industrial or commercial buildings into lofts on the east side almost four years ago, and has continued to actively seek out opportunities in the area.

“Everything else in downtown Toronto has been played out [in terms of loft conversions], so logic would dictate that this area is the last really good opportunity in the city,” says Les Mallins, president of Streetcar Developments.

“These are established neighbourhoods,” he adds. “We’re not looking to go in among people who’ve been living there for years only to have a negative impact. It’s important that we make ourselves part of the community.”

Mr. Mallins is holding out a lot of hope for the successful redevelopment of the East Don Lands, a massive urban rejuvenation spearheaded by Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corp. that will replace 15 deteriorating factories east of Parliament Street in what is known as Corktown. TWRC hopes to have a large public park built there by 2009, and the area will eventually boast almost 6,000 new dwellings, a recreation centre and a school.

Streetcar Developments is getting ready to launch a new 38-loft development in the area in the former Queen City Vinegar Co. factory. It has four other Corktown sites in the planning stages.

The design of the Queen City Vinegar Lofts makes good use of the brick walls and large windows of the current four-storey structure at 19 River St., and adds another two storeys of glassed-in units.

The core of the West Don Lands’ residential component will likely come under the control of the more established high-rise developers and their standard designs, “so we’re staking out ourselves on the periphery,” Mr. Mallins says.

“The people [who] come to us – I’m not sure that they’re comparing us to other condominiums in the city,” he says. “I think they just don’t want to live in an ant farm.”

Farther east in the Beaches, Rashmi Nathwani, the principal of Namara Developments Ltd., is putting the finishing touches on the company’s North Beach project, an attractive six-storey brick-and-glass mid-rise at the corner of Main Street and Kingston Road.

“We’re definitely searching for properties” in that area, says Mr. Nathwani.

“We don’t really include a lot of amenities in these projects besides the usual party room and a common terrace,” he notes. “I feel that the real amenity is the neighbourhood.”

Perched near the top of the Kingston Road hill, the 74-suite project takes in a pleasant view of Lake Ontario below.


Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information